Demographics of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a land filled with beauty and warmth that brings forth a fusion of ethnicities and cultures which flourish side by side. This paradise island is not only bountiful in its cultures, but also presents a vibrant history to match.

Located only a mere 28 kilometres away from India by sea across the Palk Strait, this paradise land is a not only culturally vibrant, but also an ethnically diverse nation.

The following includes information with regard to the demography of Sri Lanka as of the year 2008.


Official Name

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Śri Lanka Prajatantrika Samajavadi Janarajaya (Sinhala)
Ilangai Jananayaka Socialisa Kudiarasu (Tamil)

Total Population


Age Structure

0-14 years: 24.1% (male 2,596,463/female 2,495,136)
15-64 years: 68% (male 7,019,446/female 7,340,809)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 783,823/female 893,096)

Median Age

total: 30.4 years
male: 29.5 years
female: 31.4 years

Population Growth Rate


Net Migration Rate

1.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population


noun: Sri Lankan(s)
adjective: Sri Lankan

Ethnic Groups

Sinhalese 73.9%
Sri Lankan Tamil 12.75%
Sri Lankan Moors 7%
Indian Tamil 5.52%
Malay 0.32%
Burgher 0.27%
Other 0.19%


Buddhist 69.1%
Muslim 7.6%
Hindu 7.1%
Christian 6.2%
Unspecified 10%


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90.7%
male: 92.3%
female: 89.1%

Labour Force 


Labour Force  Participation Rate


Unemployment Rate



Sinhala (Indo-European) – Official Language
Tamil (Dravidian)
Sri Lankan Creole Malay

Monetary Unit

Sri Lankan Ruppee (LKR)

Source/Reference : Department of Census and Statistics, Sri Lanka

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